I'm pleased to announce that this week's New This Week post comes to you courtesy of a Starbucks in North Miami, Florida, is being written Monday night at roughly 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, and--unlike every post you've ever seen by me--is being composed under the influence of two very large black coffees!
The result? You'll never read anything by me that's more clearly reasoned!
Sadly, neither will I!
Rise Against: Endgame(DGC/Interscope): "It's about a dangerous time in civilization, the end of life," says vocalist/guitarist Tim McIlrath in this album's product description. "What if the life that we're living right now is this unsustainable bubble that cannot go on and perhaps does not deserve to go on? What if the world we created is a place that is so unnatural and ugly that it is a world that needs to come to an end, so that we could have a world that is better for everybody? It sounds very utopian, but it's not about a perfect place, but maybe some of these things we're doing, they need to come to an end." Bold and dramatic words indeed, Tim! Still, I'm a bit puzzled how devoting an entire album to an emotionally intense game of checkers might be the best means of expressing such harrowing concepts--especially when the 23:00-minute concluding track, "King Me, For God's Sake--I Said KING ME," seems...I dunno...sort of filler-laden! Next album: Bring on the backgammon! Carly Simon staring at herself in a mirror, as promised! That's why I'm so happy to see this great new EP by the show's considerably younger star, Miranda Cosgrove, which features a title track written by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and hit single "Dancing Crazy," co-written by Avril Lavigne! I'm also particularly taken by the album cover illustration,which features the attractive young actress unexpectedly handcuffed and forced to sit on the couch watching the hired help clean up the house after one wild party too many! And the brutal candor of the album title makes me like her all the more! Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers: Rare Bird Alert (Rounder) Already a Grammy winner for his previous set The Crow, Steve Martin--actor, comedian, playwright, funny guy--returns with another excellent bluegrass set, this time featuring impressive guests the likes of Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks! With fine musicianship, humor, an encore of "King Tut" and--via this set's deluxe edition--collectible "Rare Bird" trading cards, this album could potentially save your life, were it a human lifeguard and you were drowning! Blink-182 crew would in any way result in this peculiar hiphop extravaganza, featuring the former Blink drummer alongside The Game, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beats, RZA, Raekwon, Kid Cudi, Bouncing Boy, Aqualad and the legendary Speedy Alka-Seltzer! Even fewer would have imagined being forced to sit in a Starbucks and actually write about it while drinking black, tasteless coffee! That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the stunningly commercial "Raw Sh**" goes all the way to the top of the charts! You just can't tell anymore! Dinosaur Jr. to be much more than not bad, albeit depressingly derivative, I am thrilled to report that this latest solo effort--an apparent long-awaited sequel to the Bill Cosby classic Why Is There Air?--is more substantial than anyone--even Cosby himself--might have hoped! Featuring guests from Broken Social Scene, Band Of Horses, and other three-word bands, Several Shades Of Why has enough sonic traction to take my mind off the fact that the PA at this Starbucks just played a four-minute song entirely consisting of the intro to the Jaynetts' "Sally Go Round The Roses" looped repeatedly! Get a real job, DJ dude! Bob Seger album that's been out of print for years! Speaking of old albums, I also wouldn't be surprised if there were a few samples from that great Songs Of The Humpback Whale collection! All those things seem pretty interesting, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is a good album! I'll just have to make a point of getting a copy somewhere down the line! Next week: War And Peace: any good? Paris Hilton purely for the sake of tired but dependable bad humor! Buy this so that others might live!